|A Pleasing Outcome | Posted August 26, 2013
For freshman act Love & The Outcome, the husband/wife duo comprised of Chris Rademaker (bass/vocals) and Jodi King (keys/vocals), the name they bear isn't just some clever stage moniker. It's a massive part of their identity.
The couple, hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been making music and traveling the globe together for several years, but set off on the journey of a lifetime when they took a step of faith by leaving the familiarity of their hometown and moving to Nashville to sign with Word Records.
As if that massive life transition wasn't radical enough, it also came during a time of personal trials for the two, including the sudden illness of Rademaker's mother, which led to the cancellation of a year's worth of shows.
Through the trying time, Chris and Jodi's faith was repeatedly tested, but as gold purified through vehement flames, the couple came out stronger and with a greater sense of what it means to live a life of love with driving purpose.
"A life that requires faith is worth living," says King, "and a life on the edge is one where you live hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm with God. That's what we're living for."
Including the writing/producing talents of Seth Mosley, Jeff Pardo and David Garcia, Love & The Outcome's self-titled debut
blends an 11 song mix of silky pop with a raw edge that is sure to grab your attention.
The duo's name comes into play with the prayerfully upbeat opener "When We Love," which lyrically points to the life-changing power of giving our love away: "So God, give me a heart like Yours, help me to look at the world like You do / I wanna be caught up in Your love, cause Your love is enough to mend the most broken of lives."
The anthemic first single "He Is With Us" is an irresistibly catchy proclamation of faith in God's active presence in our lives even when we don't feel like He's in control. "No Mistaking (It's You)" shines a bright light on Chris and Jodi's flawless harmonies while musically delving into folksier waters.
"City Of God" appears next as yet another earworm anthem that is sure to stick with you long after your first listen. While it holds a simple, poetic approach, lines such as "We're going public like torches in the night, bringing out the God colors just like the Northern Lights" paint a dazzling word picture.
"Ask" transitions nicely into "The Story You're Building In Me," reminiscent of an Amy Grant/Vince Gill duet. The song vulnerably opens chapters in the couple's personal lives, sounding much like a journal entry in the making. Exquisite transparency shines in their vocals and becomes one of the brightest moments on the record: "Every day You show me another part of my story / There‘s sure to be some hard times, but a whole lot of beauty."
"Closer To You" worshipfully builds solid musical muscle as it moves forward, while the mellow yet hooky Europop inspired "Bring Us Back" highlights Jodi's solid vocals with Chris providing an eerie '80s pop vibe on BGV‘s. It's another high mark on the project, and a musical style I'd love to see the duo perfect in future work.
Jodi's gentle vocals paired against an attitude-driven drum attack open the declarative battlecry "King Of My Heart," which presents Chris Rademaker with a subtle platform to present the edgy rock sensibilities he brings to the table. The lyrics sparkle with more faith fused with raw honesty, making this song a future fan favorite for sure.
"Heart Like You" stands up against its melodic mainstream counterparts, exchanging tales of heartbreak and bitter romance for the cry of a heart desperately seeking to reflect love: "What can be worth more than You? / What do I have that I wouldn't lose if it means You and I look more alike?"
"What A Promise" ends the album on an artistically theatrical note, complete with dramatic drum sounds and a passionately enchanting vocal delivery: "If the God who spoke my heart into existence told me not to worry what tomorrow brings, we'll believe it till we're standing in eternity."
It's becoming rare for a musician to master the ability to draw listeners in and make them feel more like a friend, yet somehow, Love & The Outcome makes it look effortless. The recurring themes of selfless love and trusting in God's sovereignty despite facing some of life's toughest circumstances shine throughout, and never once feel overwhelming or repetitive. With each track, you feel as if you're being warmly invited into the duo's home to listen, learn, and relate to their life experiences.
While new ground isn't being broken here in a musical sense, it firmly establishes familiar ground in a highly noticeable way. I look forward to hearing how the pair will experiment with their sound in the future. Love & The Outcome is one of the strongest debut releases of 2013, by a group well worth keeping on your radar.
Song To Download Now:
"The Story You're Building In Me"
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